Why the makers of Gamer think it's not too far off

You probably haven't heard much about the upcoming sci-fi action film Gamer yet, and that's just the way writer/directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank) want it.

"The reason is, we wanted to make sure that Crank got its full experience at the movie theater and that we could put that behind us and move into this and really make it its own thing," Taylor told us last month at a press event at Comic-Con in San Diego. "Another reason is there are a lot of movies coming out this summer, and it was a conscious choice to make sure that we don't get lost and we come out hard from now until the movie opens."

Gamer is set in the not-so-distant-future, when people no longer play video games with silly animated avatars: They control real people. Gerard Butler plays one of the human avatars, a convict on death row and a modern-day gladiator who is forced to fight, not for the aristocracy, but for a whiz kid who controls his every move.

In the press notes for the film, Butler mentions the "sick and genius minds" of Neveldine and Taylor, so I had to ask what they thought of that. Taylor said it was totally true.

Neveldine added: "We like to go to outer space sometimes, and when we're in outer space, we bring lots of tequila, ... we have fun." The two joked that movies are how they work out their personal issues.

"We don't go to therapy," Neveldine said. "We don't have therapists." I asked if they get their anger out by throwing Terry Crews into a wall, which they did in the film. "Yeah," Neveldine said with a laugh. "When you see things in our movies that are on the wrong side of the spectrum, it's just a way of working through these things so that we don't have to do them in real life."

We talked a bit about gaming, and the guys admitted that they don't really play. "Those things are so addicting, which is part of what the movie is about," Neveldine said. "Just how immersive, ... these things become your life. And we can't let that happen, or we wouldn't be able to make movies like Crank. I was addicted as a kid, and just that little [bout] of playing [Grand Theft Auto], ... I got so involved, and I had to quit. I wasn't getting any writing done. I wasn't going to the editing bay."

So do the filmmakers think Gamer-style gaming might be a real possibility in the near future? "If it were here now, don't you think people would play it?" Taylor asked, reminding me that they already had this sort of thing in porn.

Neveldine added, "The only thing holding this stuff back is ethics, ... and, really, come on." So I had to ask if they'd be involved when the powers that be inevitably asked them to be part of something like this. "We would say yes," Neveldine said with a laugh.

Gamer opens Sept. 4.

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